Skip to main content
ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Kimberly, Idaho » Northwest Irrigation and Soils Research » Research » Research Project #422511

Research Project: Soil and Water Conservation for Northwestern Irrigated Agriculture

Location: Northwest Irrigation and Soils Research

Project Number: 2054-13000-008-000-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Dec 6, 2011
End Date: Dec 5, 2016

Objective 1. Quantify crop water productivity for irrigated crop production practices developed to reduce agriculture’s impact on water resources in arid environments in the northwestern U.S. Objective 2. Develop and validate decision tools, models and design aids to conserve soil and water resources in irrigated agriculture. Objective 3. Quantify the processes controlling sediment and nutrient losses from surface and sprinkler irrigated fields in a watershed, and contribute these data to STEWARDS.

The overall project goal is to reduce the environmental footprint of irrigated agriculture in an arid environment while sustaining economic return. Field research will quantify water savings and crop production impacts of rotating a non-irrigated year with irrigated crop production or implementing deficit irrigation management strategies that emphasize sugar beet production. This field research will identify alternatives to permanently reducing irrigated area in water limited situations. Model components will be developed to predict application characteristics of center pivot sprinklers, to simulate dynamic infiltration under center pivot irrigation, and estimate drift losses from center pivot sprinklers. These models will assist sprinkler selection and operation for specific field and soil conditions to reduce runoff, erosion and drift losses. Additionally, watershed monitoring will assess impacts of irrigation and management practices on the quantity and quality of water flowing from an irrigated watershed, emphasizing conversion from furrow irrigation to sprinkler irrigation.